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Visit the backdrops for your favourite films at these 'on location' film destinations


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Have you ever watched one of your favourite films and wished that you could visit the places onscreen? While some film backdrops are formed from sound stages, there are many real-life destinations from famous films that you can visit to experience a little more movie magic on your travels.

1. Skopelos, Greece - Mamma Mia!

kastani beach

Image credit: dimitrisvetsikas on

The idyllic Greek island doubles as the fictional isle of Kalokairi in the first Mamma Mia! film, before production was moved to Croatia for the second film - so if you want to let out your inner Dancing Queen and dance along the beach like characters in the film, here, you can do just that.

Many people get married at the Church of Agio Ioannis, which is the setting for the wedding at the end of the film. 

2. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland - Harry Potter

alnwick castle

Image credit: Phil Thomas on Wikimedia Commons

There are numerous Harry Potter film set locations all over the UK, but if you want to visit just one of the castles that double as the real-life Hogwarts, then you cannot go too far wrong with this gorgeous castle in Northumberland, which was used for exterior shots of Hogwarts in the first and second films.

3. Glen Coe, Scottish Highlands - Skyfall

Image credit: Luis Mayoral on Unsplash

Many of the James Bond film locations are too far away from the UK to visit cheaply, but if you want to try one closer to home, then James Bond's family estate is located in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. While you cannot visit the actual estate, you can see the beautiful scenery that surrounds it.

You can kill two birds with one stone if you are also a Harry Potter fan, as many exterior shots of the surrounding area of Hogwarts were shot here as well.

4. Salzburg, Austria - The Sound of Music

Mirabell Palace Gardens. Image credit: Amiodarone on Wikimedia Commons

If you have always pictured yourself as Maria Von Trapp, then good news - you can visit many of the real-life locations in Salzburg, including the Abbey (Nonnberg Abbey), Mirabell Palace Gardens, and the Von Trapp Gazebo in Schloss Hellbrunn. 

5. Skellig Michael, Ireland - The Last Jedi

Image credit: Poppy97 on Pixabay

Many Star Wars locations are quite the trek, but if you want to experience a piece of Star Wars a little closer to home, then you can visit the island where Luke lived in self-imposed exile for years.

Be warned though, only the most determined will get to it in person. It often suffers from bad weather conditions. 

6. New Zealand - Lord of The Rings

Tongariro National Park. Image credit: InfiniteThought on Pixabay

If you do not mind travelling further afield for a true on-location experience, and are a massive Lord of The Rings fan, then New Zealand has to be a travel must. From Tongariro National Park, which doubles as Mordor, to Matamata which is Hobbiton, there are film locations all over New Zealand for Lord of The Rings fans to visit.

7. Al Khazneh, Jordan - Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

Image credit: Sylvain L. on Wikimedia Commons. Dimensions have been altered.

This beautiful temple is a must visit for Indiana Jones fans, as it is the home to the Holy Grail. The temple dates back to the first Century AD and it was originally built as a crypt.

8. Saint Vincent Island - Pirates of The Caribbean

Image credit: Rowan Heuvel on Unsplash

If you want to have the full Pirates of the Caribbean experience, then the best place to go is the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent, where many of the exterior shots for the film took place.

9. New York Public Library, New York - Ghostbusters

Image credit: ORCInternational on Pixabay

If you are a Ghostbusters fan and a bibliophile, then why not combine the two by visiting the New York Public Library? The library is the location for the first ghost appearance in the film, and will also be familiar as a location in other New York-based productions, including Breakfast at Tiffany's.

10. Cavaeu De La Huchette, Paris - La La Land

Although this jazz club only appears for a brief moment right at the very end of the film, it has skyrocketed in popularity since the release of La La Land.

The club has been open since 1946 and has been home to some of the world's greatest jazz musicians, so it is a great way to enjoy a night out while also peeking at a favourite film location. 

Lead image credit: Sylvain L. on Wikimedia Commons. Dimensions have been altered.

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